Friday, June 30, 2006

America To World: We Screwed Up!

I think that the time has come - in fact, it's long overdue - that we, as Americans performed a little mea culpa for the rest of the world. It'll be good for our souls, not to mention international relations. So let's all just take a deep breath and admit it : We screwed up. Big time.

On the eve of Fourth of July weekend, looking back on two-hundred and thirty years of American history, it's easy to see that, as a nation, we've made a mistake or two along the way: Slavery, the administration of James Buchanan, prohibition, Barry Manilow - all readily come to mind. But nowhere - and I mean, NOWHERE - did we err as mightily as we did in November of 2000 - Election Day, to be precise - when we foolishly sent a contemptible, half-witted inside trader by the name of George W. Bush to the oval office - to the White House! Most people learn from their mistakes, right? Not us! No sir! Already the laughingstock of the planet, the world looked on with what can only be described as horrified amusement, wondering if we would repeat our little electoral aberration. On election day, 2004, we cheerfully obliged.

I must say something in our own defence, meager as that defence may be: Bush didn't actually win those elections. We now know the story about how they removed 57,000 African Americans from the list of registered voters in Florida in 2000. WELCOME HOME, JIM CROW! The Village Idiot of Crawford Texas was actually installed by the United States Supreme Court that year. And it is now perfectly clear that the Republicans were able to steal the key battleground states of Ohio and New Mexico in 2004. But in all honesty that's not much of an excuse. George W. Bush is such an incompetent fool, both of those elections should have been landslides for the Democrats. The fact that such a huge percentage of American voters are so rib-ticklingly out of touch with affairs of state that they actually thought that sending this fucking idiot to Washington for eight years was a good idea, shows the deplorable state of our national political dialogue.

I must share in some of that blame. You see, in 2000 I supported Ralph Nader for president. In the spring of that year, I left the democratic party, frustrated that they would nominate Al Gore over the far more qualified (at least I thought so at the time), Bill Bradley. I registered as a Green Party member and never looked back (OK, I take a peek now and then but that's it, I promise). I ran for NY state Senate in 2002, was handily defeated, got bored silly with the Greens and now I am nothing - A man without a party, so to speak. I guess you might call it my very own party of one. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to! You would cry too if it happened to you - Cha! Cha! Cha!

I now realize the error of my ways. In 2000, I should have known that the (much) lesser of two evils is always preferable an option than pure evil. (And please take note: When I use the term, "pure evil", I'm not being facetious. I use it with its absolute theological definition in mind).

So here's my little message to the rest of the planet: Listen, World, we're sorry, OK? On election days 2000 and 2004, we were drunk, alright? It was just one of those silly little accidents of history and we'll never do it again - Scout's honor!

It is now painfully obvious to everyone but the viewers of FOX News what the real agenda of the right-wing is and it's not a pretty picture: Military intimidation across the globe; The destruction of the middle class in this county; The subversion of the constitution....Not a pretty picture at all. We've got to put a stop to this madness and we will, World, we will! We as a nation are starting to wake up to the fact that the damage that this murderous little psychopath and the hideous bastards and bitches (Hi, Condi!) that comprise his administration have done to this planet is so immense, it will never be accurately accessed. It is incalculable.

So give us a little time, World. We'll fix this problem - Cross our hearts and hope to....Cross our hearts, we will! It will take a little time, true, but eventually we'll end this pathetic situation. Another election cycle should do the trick. Here's a vow, World: By the end of the summer of 2007, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will be impeached, out of power and on their way to federal prison. I promise you that.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Death of CBS News

"This instrument [Television] can teach, it can illuminate, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extant that human beings are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it's nothing more than lights and wires in a box".

Edward R. Murrow
October 28, 1958

Dan Rather's departure from CBS News last week was but another reminder of all that has been lost at an organization that was once known as "the Cadillac of broadcast journalism".

I'm just barely old enough to remember November 22, 1963 (I was born on August 16, 1958). In those days, whenever a major news story was breaking, you automatically went to CBS News - no questions asked. Think of its history: Edward R. Murrow, Eric Severeid, Charles Collingswood, Walter Cronkite; Those sons-of-bitches had gravitas, baby!

Those days are long gone. The refusal of the suits at Black Rock to stand by their man is final proof that CBS's glory days are long behind it. When, that same week, they announced that they were replacing the great Bob Scheiffer on the CBS Evening News with someone of the journalistic stature of Katie Courac, that did it. When it comes to getting the news, "cute and perky" doesn't really work for me. Maybe she'll surprise us. When Mike Wallace arrived at the company in 1962, no one took him seriously either. Although he had hosted a critically acclaimed interview program on New York's Channel 5 in the fifties called, Night Beat, he was primarily remembered by many for his work as an actor on Broadway and his commercials for Parliament Cigarettes. By 1968 Wallace had proved his worth to such an extant that legendary producer Don Hewitt decided to team him up with the late Harry Reasoner for a brand new "magazine" program to be called "60 Minutes". The rest, as they say, is history. Can Katie overcome that hurdle? Maybe, but I have this funny feeling....

The biggest irony of all this is the fact that when the dust is settled, history will judge that Rather and his team were essentially correct. George W. Bush was AWOL from the Air National Guard in the seventies. His politically connected father, Congressman George H. W. Bush, was able to pull some strings to keep the despicable little half-wit from serving in Viet Nam. This is the same guy, remember, who has already sent over twenty-five hundred American kids to their deaths in a war in Iraq that was based on lies. The controversy of Rather's exit from CBS has obscured the fact that they got it right. Don't you forget it.

Dan Rather has been the whipping boy of the brain-dead,right wing of this country since the days of Dick Nixon....

Nixon: Are you running for something?
Rather: No, sir. Are you?

OK. Maybe that little exchange was a tad cheeky on Rather's part. But you've got to admit that he was (and is) a reporter's reporter. Watching his impressive career in TV news end in such an ignominious fashion is just too depressing for words. The fact that people like Rush Limbaugh are giddy with joy over his fall only bonds me to him further. [Breaking news: Rush was just busted at the Palm Beach Airport trying to smuggle in a bottle of Viagra from Mexico. So help me, I'm not kidding!]

There was always something about Dan Rather. The man's essential decency and, yes, patriotism were always visible just below the surface of his reporting. Maybe I'm deceiving myself but I don't think I am. In the week following the hideous attacks of September 11, 2001 he went on the David Letterman program and recited a little-known verse from "America the Beautiful". In the midst of it, he broke down and wept:

Oh beautiful, for patriot dreams
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears

It was as powerful a moment as I've ever witnessed on television and I'll never forget it. It revealed so much about the man.

I'll continue to watch the CBS Evening News until September when uncle Bob takes his final bow. I'll probably even tune in for the first few nights of Katie's run.(That's REALLY going to be fun to watch!) I'll also continue to watch Face The Nation every Sunday morning until they replace Scheiffer with Britany Spears. But after that, I'll be tossing CBS News to the wind....Ah, memories!

Dan Rather took a stand and paid a heavy price - just as Edward R. Murrow did fifty-two years earlier. What George Clooney's recent movie bio on Murrow failed to depict was the fact that his famous March 1954 broadcast that exposed the lies of Wisconsin senator Joseph R. McCarthy was, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of the end of his career at CBS. In 1960, bitter and frustrated, he left the industry he virtually invented and went to work for the Kennedy administration as the head of the US Information Agency. He died of lung cancer on April 27, 1965 at the age of fifty-seven.

Have the execs at West 52nd street even seen the Clooney film? If they haven't, they probably should. We all should. It's a cautionary tale for our own times, as well. In 1954 there was only one Joe McCarthy. Today the congress, the White House and the main stream media are riddled with Joe MaCarthys. They have, quite literally, hijacked our national political conversation.

Goodnight and good luck.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Reflections In A Hurricane's Eye

Now that the hurricane season is back, the time has come for us to consider the ramifications of another category four - or worse - and what it could mean for the people of the Gulf Coast. The government's response (or, if you will, lack thereof) to the devastating damage wrought last year by Hurricane Katrina is final proof - as of any were needed - that the disastrous, ill-conceived experiment of trying to decrease the size of the federal government has been, to put it mildly, a dismal failure. In the first few days of the catastrophe it seemed as if no one on any level, federal or state, knew what the hell was going on, let alone what the hell to do. That should have come as a surprise to no one. It certainly didn't to me. If, by now, you are not aware of the fact that George W. Bush and the dirty old dingbats that comprise his administration are the most corrupt group of jackasses ever to occupy the oval office, you haven't been paying attention.

This is what happens when you naively hand your government over to people who don't believe in government. Generally speaking, it's not a particularly nifty idea. For over twenty-five years now, we've had to listen to these fools howling about "Big Government". Do you remember Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address? "Government isn't the answer to the problem; Government is the problem". Reagan was wrong. Then again, Reagan was usually wrong. But he looked so good on television, didn't he?

At a point in our history, when our population has already exceeded the quarter of a billion point, talking about, even hinting at a desire to shrink or eliminate the federal government is not only bad public policy, it's insane! Big government? It's a big country. Think about it.

Michael Brown is a guy who was forced to resign from his previous job of managing Arabian horses. The very fact that someone with his credentials could have been appointed to head FEMA, post 9/11, illustrates perfectly just how cynical the Bush Mob is with respect to their stewardship of our nation. It also shows how much they care.

Compassionate conservatism? Please.

In the meantime, America is reaping the whirlwind of an immoral, illegal invasion of Iraq. (Yes, folks, the president of the United States is a war criminal. You don't believe it? Go to the Geneva Convention and look up the legal definition of that term). Over twenty-five hundred American kids and scores of thousands of Iraqi men, women and little children have been murdered - for what?? All of this on top of an obscene tax cut that mainly benefits the already obscenely rich that is plundering our national treasure. As a Nobel Prize winning economist recently observed, "Bush's economic policy isn't a plan, it's a looting".

Compassionate conservatism, indeed.

The dirty little secret is this: It takes money - lots of it - to remedy the ravages of even the mildest of hurricanes. Had Katrina made herself known during the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, he would have gone on national television, looked the American people squarely in the eye and honestly said to them, "Not to worry, my friends! Your government has a surplus of almost five trillion dollars. We will rebuild the Gulf Coast. Excuse me, sir, are you gonna finish that cheeseburger"?

Well, the money's gone, folks, and the administration of George W. Bush has squandered it. "Stolen it" is the more proper way of putting it. And you think that his ratings are low now? Oh, brother! Just you wait until the end of this hurricane season! They'll be in the teens! Could this entire mess have been avoided? Well, yeah. An informed, educated electorate might have done the trick, don'cha think?

Fifty years from now, the president of the United States, whomever he or she may be - who in all likelihood hasn't even been born yet - will still, on a daily basis, be dealing with the damage that a corrupt, hideous, half-witted frat boy named George W. Bush did to his once-great country so many years before.

I cannot believe that the United States has sunk this low. I just can't believe it.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, June 23, 2006

Two Stolen Elections=One Damaged Republic

By now it should be painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain (Attn: viewers of Fox and Friends) that the most criminal administration in the history of human folly is only in power because they blatantly stole two elections and that the people in our country who have suffered the most from the despicable policies of the corrupt regime of George W. Bush were the main pawns in their twisted little game.

In the state of Florida during the campaign of 2000, Jeb Bush and everyone's favorite political call girl, Katherine Harris, hired an out-of-state firm that was able to come in and remove as many African Americans as possible from the list of registered voters - 57,000 of them. If you were black and living anywhere in the sunshine state that year and you shared a name with a convicted felon anywhere in the United States, you weren't going to vote. Period. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that you were a sixty-seven year pastor of a small Baptist church in Tallahassee with the same name as a convicted crack addict in Buffalo. If you were planning on voting in 2000, you were shit-outta-luck, pardner! Of course, the fact that people of color tend to vote democratic is purely coincidental - Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink!

Four years later, on election day 2004, every exit poll had John Kerry winning the key battleground states of Ohio and New Mexico. Truth be told, I went to bed just after midnight, confident that the horrible era of the worst president in American history had come to a merciful end. When I got up at around four AM to check Kerry's margin of victory, my nephew, Chris Pennings, the lead singer/songwriter/ guitarist for the fabulous new band, SOUTHCOTT (Shameless plug) who was staying with me at the time, greeted me with the following words, "He won". I could tell by the look on his face just who "he" was. I was stunned. Or as the late, great comedian, Fred Allen, would say, "I was gasted right down to my flabbers"!

Once the shock wore off, I got good and angry. Not just at the tidal wave of human shit within the Bush crowd who were able to steal two elections but at the incredible naivete of the American electorate. In spite of the fact that Kerry and Al Gore won their respective contests, it should have been a landslide. I mean, let's face some serious facts here: Running against a disgusting cowboy wannabe like George W. Bush should have been the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

More than a little bit of my rage was also directed at Gore and Kerry, both able and intelligent men, for running such jaw-droppingly dumb campaigns. The next democratic nominee, whoever he or she may be (Are you listening, Russ?) cannot run away from their natural base as they've been doing for the past quarter of a century. That is the only way we progressives - LIBERALS - will be able to regain control of our deplorably damaged system. By November of 2008, the American people will have had it up to here (Please note: I'm pointing at my forehead) with these atrocious bastards. This country is finally awakening from the right-wing coma that it's been snoozing under since it foolishly sent a feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor by the name of Ronald Reagan to the White House twenty-six years ago.

There's a sleeping giant out there, Russ. Give him a little poke.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What's Wrong With The 109th Congress?

"I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States. And will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States. So help me, God".

George W. Bush
January 20, 2001
January 20, 2005

Twice, the president took the oath of office. Obviously he never had any intention of honoring it. Kind of makes you wonder about his professed religious devotion, doesn't it? He once said of the Taliban:

"We're not deceived by their pretensions to piety".

Oh really? Well, guess what? I've never been deceived by his. Not for one minute. Now he is claiming that he can ignore the very laws that he is sworn to obey because of a quaint little thing called a "signing statement". Forgive me but would someone please explain to me just where the hell in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a chief executive can claim something so ludicrous?

The question that is just begging to be asked is this: Is the minority party in on the fix? Could it possibly be that the main contenders for the 2008 democratic nomination actually want the kind of unchecked executive power that Bush and Cheney are now seeking? Is that why they're barely lifting a finger to stop them? Are they merely allowing Bush and Company to establish a precedent? As someone once said, "Things are getting curiouser and curiouser".

Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton's husband was almost removed from office for lying about having a fling with a twenty-six year old intern. Why is she not leading the charge, banging the drums for impeachment? If the dems are stupid enough to nominate her two years from now, they'll deserve everything that happens to them. Her continued support for this indecent, illegal and obscene war that is now being committed against the children of Iraq, using the children of America as cannon fodder, is nothing more than shameless pandering to the extreme right. The carnage that is now taking place on all sides in that devastated country will have to take a back seat to her political ambitions. Are you naive enough to believe that the fundraiser Rupert Murdoch recently held in her honor is a mere coincidence? Don Imus constantly refers to her as "Satan". Good one, I-man! She's as morally bankrupt as any crooked pol that ever slithered up Capitol Hill.

What the hell is wrong with the 109th congress? The wheels are coming off of the planet and these assholes are wasting our time screaming about gay marriage and flag burning! Many years ago, in 1948, Harry Truman devoted much of his time on the campaign trail to denouncing, "that good for nothin' eightieth congress"! Can you just imagine the invective that the great man from Missouri might have conjured up for the 109th? I can hear him now! Then again, the eightieth wasn't a total waste. While it did produce a Joe McCarthy, it also gave us a young congressman from Massachusetts named, Jack Kennedy (Note: We Irish Catholics reserve the exclusive right to refer to the late president as, "Jack". It's one of our little perks). Posterity will record no one with one tenth the stature of JFK to come out of this congress. Trust me.

What will history say of these people? The eightieth congress of 1947-49, as bad as they were, was a model of competence and integrity by comparison. What will our great grandchildren, who will never even know our names, say of us? We'll be remembered as a generation more concerned with voting for the American Idol than for the American President - our political priorities being more in-tune with a proven inside trader like George W. Bush than a true statesman like George Washington. Our entire generation are going to look like fools - or worse.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. One hundred and fifty years from now, our heirs will look back at films and photos of George W. Bush: They'll look back at his notoriously mangled syntax ("Is our children learning") and that disgusting "Beevis and Butthead" giggle of his. They'll look back at that grotesque smirk he gets whenever a reporter asks him a question that cuts a little too close to home. And, no doubt, they'll look back at his jaw-dropping arrogance ("Bring 'em on') and his mind-numbing incompetence. They'll look back at all of these things and much, much more....and everyone of them will be asking the same question: "What were they thinking? What in God's name were they thinking"?

Good question! What are we thinking? Any takers?

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, June 19, 2006

Breaking News: Ann Coulter's An Idiot

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grieferazzis. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's deaths so much"

Ann Coulter
on the widows of September 11, 2001
from her new book
"Godless: The Church of Liberalism"

I have a confession to make: I read Ann Coulter's book, "Treason". That's one of my little personality quirks. I actually read and listen to the far-right and their "little right lies". I try to devote at least an hour a day to some of the more celebrated neanderthals of Hate Radio. It's one of my guilty pleasures. By doing so, I think I'm able to comment intelligently on them (if such a thing is even possible).

A very Republican friend of mine had the book and I asked him if I could borrow it. I'll have to admit, it's a very easy read - but that's not necessarily a compliment. Let us be frank here: Anything written by Ann Coulter isn't going to be riddled with complexities, if you know what I mean. I read the book in a few hours and had it back to him by break of twilight.

Here's my challenge: Don't go out and waste your hard earned money on it - Trust me, you'll never regret not having done so. But if you happen to be at your local library and they have it on their shelves, have a look at it. Don't take it home - particularly if you have young children about the house. Just take it off of the shelf, go to a nice, quiet corner and sit down with it for an hour or so.

Here's a little game you can play with "Treason" (or anything else she ever wrote, I imagine). Pick out a page at random - any page at all - and I'll wager you any amount you'd like that you won't be able to find a single page that does not contain at least one error of fact (or "lie", if you want to get technical). Some pages are, quite literally, drenched in lies! But at a bare minimum you'll be able to spot one total distortion on every page in the book. It's a neat game and loads of fun to play!

On second thought, if you should come across a copy of it in a thrift shop or at a garage sale somewhere, then by all means buy it. In fact, I insist on it. That way, you'll be able to spare some poor, half-witted bastard the embarrassment of purchasing it and taking the damned thing seriously. You'll really be doing your community a great service. Ann won't be able to receive an additional royalty so there's no moral dilemma involved. And consider this juicy possibility: When you get bored with the book, you'll have the extra added satisfaction of burning it! What could be more fun than that???

Now let me explain to you how Ann operates and her genius for taking things out of context. If, when she wakes up this morning, she does a google search of her name and happens to come across the previous paragraph, she'll go on Hannity and Colmes tonight and she'll scream, "The liberals advocate book burning! Tom Degan even urged people to buy my books just so they can burn them! You see, Sean? They're as bad as the Nazis!!!

Now do you understand? That's how Ann Coulter lies, manipulates and distorts the truth. When she was out on the road promoting "Treason", she actually went on the Hardball program with Chris Matthews and implied that Harry S Truman, of all people, was guilty of treason. I mean, HARRY FREAKING TRUMAN! Not only is the woman dumber than dog shit, she's nuts!

On that particular appearance, Matthews went over her book, point by ridiculous point, exposing the falsehoods and distortions within, much to her obvious discomfort. "The truth doesn't mean a thing to you, Ann", he said. She has not been on Hardball since. Gee, I wonder why?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

FOR THE RECORD: A few nights after this post was published, Ann Coulter did, in fact, appear on Hardball.

For more recent postings on this site, please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Disgusting, liberal propaganda. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cheney Trouble

When the democrats re-take control of the House and Senate in the early hours of 2007 (Oh please! Oh please! Oh please!), they're going to find themselves in the same predicament that a previous generation of dems got bogged down in way back in 1973. By the late summer of that year, if you'll remember, it was "perfectly clear" that Richard M. Nixon was up to his ears in impeachable offences. The so-called "Watergate Affair" had all but destroyed his second term. His former Attorney General, John Mitchell, not to mention key aids, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, were out of power and on their way to the slammer. So what was the big deal? All they had to do was impeach the hideous bastard, right? No problem!


Nixon's number two man was the guy who put the "vice" in the vice-presidency; The most corrupt VP since New York machine politician and Tammany Hall veteran, Chester Allen Arthur, served in that same capacity under President Garfield ninety-two years earlier - A contemptible political hack by the name of Spiro T. Agnew - "Ted", to his friends. The very idea of removing Dick Nixon from power and replacing him with someone as thoroughly disgusting as Agnew was as disturbing a thought as....well.... removing George W. Bush from power and replacing him with someone as thoroughly disgusting as Dick Cheney. A very depressing scenario any way you slice it.

Then in October a miracle of fate intervened. Poor old Spiro was busted for accepting bribes while governor of Maryland and as vice-president. He promptly submitted his resignation and, within a matter of days was replaced by a far more palatable, moderate republican congressman from Michigan named, Gerald R. Ford (Yes, folks! There used to be such a thing as a "moderate republican"). From that moment on, Nixon's presidency was toast and jelly. Ten months later, on August 9, 1974, the Trickster was sent a'packin' off to San Clemente for a bitter and well-deserved exile. Gerry Ford was now the president of the United States.

I'm not revealing any state secrets here when I say that there is a mountain of evidence - not just circumstantial evidence - but hard, clear, tangible, in-you-face proof that Dick Cheney needs to be removed from power and hauled off in an ox cart to Leavenworth Prison. His crimes as far as getting the United States involved in the obscenity that is now being committed against the children of Iraq is but the tip of a very nasty iceberg. Don't expect him to have the essential decency of an Agnew and resign....I can't believe I just wrote that last sentence....Trust me, that's not going to happen. The man is utterly without scruples. In fact, I believe he is sociopathic. He must be forcibly removed by an act of congress.

The first piece of business when the 110th congress convenes in January should be the impeachment and prosecution of Richard Cheney for his crimes against the people of the United States and the people of Iraq. The chances that Bush will replace him with a moderate is all but nonexistent - but on this point you may be absolutely certain: The replacement, whoever he or she may be, won't be one tenth as reckless and stupid as the village idiot from Crawford, Texas. Trust me.

Isn't it funny? When looking back across the decades, the crimes of Richard Milhaus Nixon and the men around him seem positively quaint when compared to the Bush Mob. Truth be told: The Nixon Gang is almost saintly with hindsight! I need an aspirin.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, June 12, 2006

Skilling Me Softly With His Song

Many years ago, the great composer, Cole Porter, penned a long-forgotten tune for the show, "Anything Goes". The song, which became a minor hit, was called "Friendship". Since it was always sung as a duet, one might speculate that it could very well have served as the theme song for the once very close relationship between George W. Bush and Ken Lay....

George: If you're ever in a jam, here I am!
Ken: If you're ever in distress: S.O.S!
George: If you ever get so happy you land in jail, I'm your bail!
Both: It's friendship! Friendship!
Such a perfect blendship!
When other friendships have been forgot,
Ours will still be hot!

Beautiful! Unfortunately for Lay, the only song the Bush administration seems to be singing these days is: "Oh, Kenny We Hardly Knew Ye, Hurrah! Hurrah"!

No one, and I mean NO ONE - Not Karl Rove, not Poppy Bush, not the Supreme Court, not even a hideously ill-informed American electorate - is more responsible for George W. Bush's ascendancy into the presidency than Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay. Here's a nasty little tidbit for you to munch on, kiddies: He's expecting a pardon. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that he's blackmailing the administration at this very moment.

What's to stop him from going public with the minutes from Dick Cheney's infamous Energy Task Force meetings of early 2001? If you'll remember, the Veep was adamant that the details of that little get together be kept classified. In fact, he even went to court to keep it so and then defied a federal judge who ordered him to make it public. Why? Oh, call it a hunch but what they had planned was probably not in the best interest of the American public. As a matter of fact, given the history of these dirty old dingbats, it was more that likely criminal. In the months that followed, Lay and co-defendant, Jeffrey Skilling, were able to take advantage of ENRON's virtual monopoly over California utility companies by creating a phony energy shortage which sent electricity rates in that state into the stratosphere. The result of all of this was the recall of democratic governor, Grey Davis, and the installation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hasta la vista, baby!

And you thought that Bill Clinton's 11th hour pardon of fugitive financier, Marc Rich, was outrageous? Just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait! In the final hours of this administration (which I predict to be late next summer - Bush and Cheney will be impeached long before January 20, 2009) Dubya's pardons will make Bubba's look frivolous by comparison. I'd love to be in the room the moment Alberto Gonzalez gently tries to explain to him that a president cannot legally pardon himself. Oh boy! The disgusting little bastard is going to go right through the roof!

Ken Lay has this administration over a barrel right now. It's going to be a laugh riot in the next few months watching the machinations of the Bush White House privately trying to do everything humanly possible to keep Lay from cracking and publicly trying to keep their distance from him at the same time. This is just too funny for words!

The conviction of Lay and Skilling is just one more in a series of disasters for this nightmare of an administration. Watch in glee as their house of corruption starts a'crumbling! The chickens are coming home to roost - with a vengeance! This is, no question about it, the beginning of the end of the Bush presidency.The next year and a half is going to be very interesting. Very interesting, indeed.

I'm positively giddy!

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Remembering Harry Truman

In 1941, an obscure senator from the state of Missouri by the name of Harry S Truman, sitting at the head of a senate investigating committee, equated war profiteering with treason. It is estimated that the work of the "Truman Committee", as it came to be known, saved many thousands of allied lives and over a billion in 1940's dollars. A good many corrupt contractors, not to mention a number of military personnel, went to prison. The nation was so impressed by the dedication and integrity of this gutsy little son-of-a-bitch from the Midwest that in the summer of 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped his popular vice-president, Henry Wallace, from the ticket and made Truman his running mate. Eighty-two days into his fourth term, a tired and ailing FDR died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage at his summer White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. Harry Truman was now the president of the United States.

Is there not a member of congress out there with the courage to investigate the obvious corruption and profiteering that is taking place today in Iraq? The duplicity that took occurred all those decades ago in what was yet to be called the "Military Industrial Complex", happened behind the back of a man (Roosevelt) who is now viewed by historians to be one of the greatest presidents in American history. Are these democratic and republican fools in the House and Senate naive enough to doubt that the problem today is much worse under the direction of the most criminal administration since the invention of dirt?

Harry Truman is dead and he's not coming back.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Monday, June 05, 2006

Like it or not: THE WAR IS OVER

The war in Iraq is over. For the second time in a generation, a half-witted Texan (Just what is it about Texas) and the dirty old men that comprise his administration have used our children as cannon fodder for the Military Industrial Complex and have forced them into a dangerous, untenable conflict; A quagmire, if you will. The revelations of the latest atrocities - and more are coming to light each day - of stressed-out soldiers gunning down entire families of men, women and little children in cold blood - is the final writing on the wall. Any hope of winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world in general and the Iraqi people in particular has been utterly, irreparably destroyed.

The only thing to do now is to admit that the entire affair was a dreadful mistake, cut our losses and get the hell out of there while the getting is good, as quickly and as orderly as possible (if order is even an option anymore). The far-right's insane rationalization for this obscenity of a war, from day one, has been thus: "Do you think that the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power? Good question! Here's my answer:


At the very least, Iraq was semi-functional before March of 2003 when our president made the stupidest foreign policy blunder in American history by invading it. Saddam was a thug, no question about it. His two sons were even worse. But at least the average Iraqi could get through a typical day without fear of being blown to kingdom come or of being shot down in the street like an animal. Am I right? Do I exaggerate? Saddam would have eventually fallen of his own weight - Dictators always do - Time and again history has proven just that. Unfortunately, this administration's knowledge of the history of the world is woefully deficient. It has been said that a people who are ignorant of their own history are doomed to repeat it. The Bush Mob could very well serve as a textbook example of that old adage. Then again one would expect them to be ignorant as to the lessons of Viet Nam. During the swinging sixties, these clowns had "other priorities" ( Dick Cheney's own words) didn't they?

The Bush/Cheney cabal has created a geo-political catastrophe that will take more than a century to remedy - if it's ever remedied at all. This war was never about weapons of mass destruction. It was never about "freedom and democracy". Are you naive enough to believe that an administration that stole two elections and gave us the Patriot Act gives a hoot in hell about freedom?

Come to think of it, name one time in history that our government has even seriously advocated freedom in the Arab world....Are you stumped? Well, you should be because it never happened. The genesis of "Arab extremism" can be traced back to the day in 1953 when the CIA, under the orders of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and installed a US controlled lap dog (The Shah) who led a brutally repressive regime until he was overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Think about that: Iran has not been democratic since the United States ended democracy there in 1953. What was Ike thinking???

That brings me to the question which is begging to be answered: If our government doesn't give a rat's ass about freedom, why the hell did they invade Iraq?

It was the oil. It was all about the oil. It was all about the fortunes that a handful of White House insiders and a their greedy corporate connections could make off of that oil. Do you think for one minute that these assholes would have even thought about invading Iraq had its main export been galvanized bicycle clamps? There was never, ever a shred of noble purpose behind it. To believe otherwise is to deceive yourselves.

And what has been the result of all of this madness? Over twenty-five hundred American kids and well over one hundred thousand Iraqi citizens are dead. Dead. Ponder THAT for a minute or two.

Eight years ago, the House and the Senate came close to removing a sitting president from office for lying about having an affair with a young female intern. When are they going to wake up and realize that the transgressions of Bill Clinton are a mere pinprick when placed in juxtaposition with the George W. Bush bloodbath?

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

PS - A special word of thanks to Condoleeza Rice for proving, once and for all, that black women are capable of being just as evil as white men. You go, girl!!

The Oaf of Office

I have always kept a close eye on affairs of state. Years before the term was even coined, I was, no question about it, a "political junkie". It all started, as it did for so many of my generation, with Watergate. Richard M. Nixon resigned in disgrace exactly one week before my sixteenth birthday. When it was all over, I felt sort of let down in an odd way. At the time, I remember thinking that it would never again get as interesting as Watergate, I was wrong. In 1974, in my wildest dreams, I could never have foreseen a walking, talking obscenity by the name of George W. Bush. The Chinese have a saying which is both a blessing and a curse: "May you live in interesting times". Well, we sure do live in interesting times but, at the moment, I don't think it's a blessing.

A year before the election of 2000, Bush's corruption, incompetence and mind-numbing stupidity were all matters of public record. Had most of us bothered to read Molly Ivins' excellent 1999 book, "Shrub: The Short, Happy Political Life of George W. Bush", we wouldn't be having this conversation today. Interpreting the election of this moron as a disaster for the United States was such a no-brainer that in December of 2000, a full month before he even took the oath of office, I predicted on the radio that his administration would end in impeachment. Fortunately someone taped that particular broadcast for me. On the very last day of the Bush presidency, I'll be playing that tape for EVERYONE!

For someone like me, who gets positively giddy watching the corrupt fall of their own weight, flat on their faces, this White House - really, the entire political climate in Washington - is the gift that just keeps giving.

So look on the bright side of things, kids! Sure, the damage that is being done to our once-great country by this disgustingly out of touch administration is incalculable. Sure, our great grand-children, who will never even know our names, will still be paying for the recklessness and greed of our generation. Sure, we'll be living with the mistakes of a brain-dead, hideously dumbed-down electorate for the rest of our natural lives. And yet with all of that (and so much more) taken into consideration, you've got to admit this one, undeniable fact: In terms of pure "stupidity as entertainment", it just doesn't get any better than this. It really doesn't.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sunday, June 04, 2006


George W. Bush has told the American people and the rest of the planet that the Iranian government is developing a nuclear weapons program that is a direct threat to the peace and security of the free world. That's all I need to know. It is the duty - The duty, I tell you - for all good and decent Americans to support our president at this most crucial hour in our nation's history.

President Bush promised us during the campaign of 2000 that he would "restore honor and integrity to the White House" and has he not? He vowed that he would "usher in an era of accountability" and has he not? He promised Americans of all races and creeds an honest government. Has he not given us just that? He said that he would be, "a uniter and not a divider". Is it not true that we are now as united as we've ever been in our grand and glorious history? When he informs us that his intelligence apparatus has led him to believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Iran threatens the safety and well being of all Americans, who are we to doubt him?

He is the greatest president in American history. His is the most competent, gifted administration in American history. History will be the final judge of "we the people" as to whether or not we had the moral foresight to stand behind our able and good commander-in-chief at this most perilous moment....

....I'm sorry....I just made a twenty dollar bet with myself that I could write those last three paragraphs and keep a straight face....I lost.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The First Fool

Do you remember the days immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001? Do you remember the headline in the French newspaper, "WE ARE ALL AMERICANS NOW"? Do you remember the goodwill that was sent out to us from all over the world? Do you remember how even some of our traditional enemies, Libya's Qaddafi for instance, condemned the attacks? Do you remember all of that? I sure do! I also can't forget that it was all squandered by a half-witted crackpot named, George W. Bush. And when the next attack happens - and it's going to happen; You can take that to the bank - the rest of the world, remembering our disastrous, illegal invasion of Iraq (Earth to America: Your president is a war criminal) will look at us and ask, "What did you expect"?

Before I set myself up for an investigation, let me reassure the NSA, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that the reason I'm absolutely certain of another catastrophic attack is not because I'm involved in any kind of a plot against our once-great nation (Heavens to Betsy, I'm not) It is because the First Fool, incurious George, has so depleted our national treasure and, by extension, our national security, that another attack is all but inevitable. Anyone not smart enough to figure that out (our commander-in-chief, for example) shouldn't be in a position of any import, let alone sitting in the oval office.

This country - really, the world - cannot afford another two years and seven months of this nightmare of an administration. Many republicans, not to mention almost all democrats, are urging the president to bring in an outsider, a David Gergen type - Hell, why not David Gergen, himself? - to come in and clean up the mess and set things on a steady course much in the same way Reagan and Clinton did in their second terms when they hired - of all people - David Gergen! Here's a nasty little fact for you to munch on, people: That won't happen. Trust me on this one: That's never going to happen! Why? It's very simple. The serious felonies that have been committed by this criminal administration preclude the possibility of any outside broker coming in and having an unobstructed look into the "business as usual" style of the Bush Mob. That ain't never gonna happen, baby!

We've got to take our country back from these maniacal fools. The main obstacle before us the upcoming primary season. The congress and the senate are also mired in corruption and need to be completely overhauled and that includes the minority party! Any democrat who was stupid enough to give this twisted little psychopath in the White House the power to wage war without the constitutionally mandated congressional approval, needs to be swept away onto history's ash heap. And yes, that includes the senator from New York. The very fact that Hillary Clinton is today the odds-on favorite to win the democratic nomination in 2008 is tangible evidence that the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has sunk into the ideological sewer.

The 2006 mid-term elections are less than five months away. Yeah, I know it seems like an eternity but we've got to hang in there and wait these treacherous bastards out. Help is on the way....I hope.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Fascism American Style

And on a star-spangled night, my love,
You can place your rights on the fireplace....
And by the dawn's early light, my love,
Your constitution's turned to dust....
Fascism American Style,
That's me and you!

Howdy, folks! Come to where the furor is! Welcome to fascist country!

The combined strength of American corporate and military power, forcing itself down the throat of the entire planet is nothing new. In fact, it's been done before. Do you, perchance, remember a guy by the name of Hitler? Do you remember Mussolini? Does that sound like an extreme example? Consider the following quote:

"Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism' because it is the total merging of corporate and state power".

Study that quote very carefully. It might very well have come out of the pages of the "Project For A New American Century". But that dandy little piece of timeless prose didn't originate from the pen of Paul Wolfowitz. It came straight from the mouth and mind of Benito Mussolini, the father of the modern fascist state.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. I don't even think we're in America anymore. It certainly isn't the America of John Adams when he wrote, "We go not abroad in search of monsters to slay". It definitely isn't the America of Abraham Lincoln when, on the fields of Gettysburg in November of 1863, he spoke of, "...government of the people, by the people, for the people..." No. This is not the America that I grew up in.

The term "American Century" was coined at the end of World War II by Time Magazine founder, Henry Luce. At that point in history it was clear to everybody that the United States was going to be the leader, militarily and economically, for many years into the future. A little over ten years ago, when it became obvious that the "America Century" was coming to an end, both literally and figuratively, I wondered aloud how the USA, with its history of being just a wee bit reactionary at times, would handle the inevitable shifts in the global and economic situation. Would it act like a grown up and step aside as gracefully as merrie ole England did in the first half of the twentieth century when it became apparent that she was no longer the number one player on the world stage and that America was the new super power? Or would it go into complete denial, get crazy and try to destroy everything it could get its hands on?

Sadly, the administration of George W. Bush gave us the answer to that question.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Friday, June 02, 2006

George W. Bush: The Last Republican President

This is it, folks! The beginning of the end of the disgusting administration of a corrupt, hideous, half-witted frat boy named George W. Bush. And not a minute too soon, ay? When a nation stupidly sends to the oval office - to the White House - someone with the IQ of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds, you're gonna have some serious problems. This isn't rocket science, kids. It's called Civics 101!

In November of 2000, when the voters of the United States of America foolishly sent this moron to the executive mansion, we effectively pointed the proverbial loaded pistol at our own collective head. Four years later, on election day 2004 - make no mistake about it - we pulled the trigger.

Here's our biggest challenge in the next two and a half years: Weeda Peeple have got to make damn good and sure that George W. Bush is the last Republican president in American history. The GOP has slit the throats of the poor and the middle class. They (along with a lot of foolish Democrats) are responsible for the atrocities that are this very day being committed against the children of Iraq. They must never, ever be allowed to govern this country again. Please stop soiling the memory of one of the greatest presidents in history by calling it, "the party of Lincoln". Don't ever call it that again. Abraham Lincoln's influence on the Republican Party ended at exactly 7:22 in the morning on April 15, 1865 when he breathed his last breath.

PREDICTION: George W. Bush will be remembered in history, primarily, as the first (pray last) former chief executive to go to federal prison. Sound crazy? Stay tuned.

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Photograph of yours truly
taken in New York City June 2005

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"The Rant" by Tom Degan